Chick-fil-A: Gay marriage debate and fast-food chicken? Yup.

Chick-fil-A president's comments on 'biblical definition' of family create firestorm among gay marriage supporters and opponents. Boston mayor wants to keep Chick-fil-A out of his city.

Mike Stewart/AP
This photo shows a Chick-fil-A fast food restaurant in Atlanta. Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy said this week that his privately owned company is "guilty as charged" in support of what he called the biblical definition of the family unit.

From calls for a boycott to pledges of support, Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy’s recent comments supporting traditional marriage have prompted strong reactions from groups on both sides of the issue.

Cathy’s remarks earlier this week to a Baptist website, in which he affirmed the Atlanta-based company’s belief in “the biblical definition of the family unit,” went viral Wednesday. Supporters and opponents of gay unions immediately weighed in.

“We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles,” Cathy told the Baptist Press.

As of Friday afternoon, more than 2,100 people had signed a pledge at Causes.com to boycott Chick-fil-A. The petition was sponsored by the Trevor Project, a national organization focused on suicide prevention efforts for LGBT youth.

“As customers, we can no longer stomach your intolerance and disrespect for countless LGBT citizens,” the pledge reads. “Until your company’s values reflect the freedoms and dignities that all American citizens are due, we will no longer eat at Chick-fil-A!”

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino told the Boston Herald he would work to block Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant in the city. “You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population,” Menino said.

Several conservative organizations released statements of support for Cathy. The National Organization for Marriage, for example, called the son of Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy “a corporate hero for marriage.”

The company appeared to be trying to move beyond the issue, saying on its Facebook page that it would “leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender,” according to the statement posted Thursday.

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